New Delhi: Former US President Barack Obama’s memoirs have “huge praise for Manmohan Singh” but Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is not mentioned by name at all”, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor says in a series of tweets. Mr Tharoor wrote that he had an advance copy of the first of Obama’s two-part memoir “A Promised Land”, releasing Tuesday and had read every bit on India flagged in the index.
“Big news: There isn’t much. Bigger news: in 902 pages, Narendra Modi is not mentioned by name at all,” tweeted the Congress MP and former union minister.
“Huge praise for Dr ManMohan Singh who is warmly described as “wise, thoughtful, &scrupulously honest”, “a man of uncommon wisdom& decency” with whom he enjoyed “a warm & productive relationship” though MMS was “cautious in foreign policy”. His regard & respect shine through.”
President Obama “worries about impulses of violence, greed, corruption, nationalism, racism and religious intolerance,” wrote Mr Tharoor as he quoted from the book: “They seemed to lie in wait everywhere, ready to resurface whenever growth rates stalled or demographics changed or a charismatic leader chose to ride the wave of people’s fears and resentments. And as much as I might have wished otherwise, there was no Mahatma Gandhi around”.
In India, the book caused a flutter last week a less-than-flattering description of Rahul Gandhi drawing comments from delighted BJP leaders.
“Rahul Gandhi has ‘a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject’,” reported New York Times, quoting from the book. It also excerpts a part that describes Manmohan Singh as having a “kind of impassive integrity”
Some Congress leaders have flagged longer excerpts from the book on a dinner that President Obama had with the former Prime Minister, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi is described as a person of “shrewd and forceful intelligence” who “listened more than she spoke” and deferred to Dr Singh when policy matters came up. Rahul Gandhi, Obama writes, “seemed smart and earnest”.
The former US President also recalls wondering after the dinner what would happen when he left office, “Would the baton be successfully passed to Rahul, fulfilling the destiny laid out by his mother and preserving the Congress Party’s dominance over the divisive nationalism touted by the BJP?”
Mr Tharoor tweeted: “Difficult to imagine that the Sanghis who have been rejoicing on social media about one sentence in the memoir will draw much comfort from these reflections. They offer a foretaste of what Vol.2 is likely to tell us about India in a post-Manmohan Singh era, when Obama returned.
News Credit NDTV